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Anal Fissure

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is an anal fissure?

An anal fissure is a cut or tear in the tissue inside your anus. An anal fissure may be acute or chronic. An acute anal fissure is usually small and shallow and often heals without treatment. A chronic fissure may last longer than a month and will usually require treatment. A chronic anal fissure comes back after treatment.

What causes an anal fissure?

Anal fissures may occur when your anal muscle becomes too tight. Your anal muscle forms a ring around your anus and helps control your bowel movements. When this muscle becomes too tight, there is decreased blood flow to your anus. You may also have too much pressure around your anus. Other possible causes may include any of the following:

What are the signs and symptoms of an anal fissure?

How is an anal fissure diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and when they started. Tell your provider about your bowel movements, foods you eat, and medicines you take. Your provider may also ask if you have other medical conditions, or had anal procedures or surgeries. Your provider will look at and feel your anus to check for cuts or tears. If you are in severe pain, you may get local anesthesia. Your provider may also remove a piece of anal tissue and send it to a lab for testing.

How is an anal fissure treated?

You may also need to have the cause of your anal fissure treated. You may need any of the following to treat your anal fissure:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What are the risks of an anal fissure?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.